Facebook Knows When You're Single Or Dating - But Not Because Of Your Relationship Status
If you thought refusing to even have a public relationship status had fooled Facebook into leaving your love life well alone, then you'd be wrong.
Yep, it turns out that the social media platform can basically tell whether you're playing it solo or all loved up and unsurprisingly it's all down to how and what you post.
While hiding your relationship status from your profile at least stops that super awkward moment when you subtly try to remove all traces of it post-break up, it hasn't stopped Facebook working out just what situation you're in in the love department.
With a team of data scientists on their books, Facebook actually know way more about you than you'd probably realised. We don't mean this in a particularly sinister way, it's just that they - like most businesses - will use the way you engage with the platform to inform decisions about how they change and develop it to enhance the user experience and to inform what adverts you see.
But as part of this research into user behaviour they've released a report called 'The Formation Of Love Study', that suggests how, when and what you post can also help them guess your relationship status.
Apparently those who post two or more times a day are more likely to be single, with those posting any less apparnetly more likely to be in a relationship. To work this out they looked at people who've recently changed their relationships from 'single' to 'in a relationship'.
"During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple," data scientist Carlo Diuk explains, adding that when the relationship began, they could chart the number of posts decreasing - suggeting the people in question are hanging out IRL instead of online.
Posts also are seen to increase in the days leading up to the moment the relationship is made official, which they concludes is essentially proof of people getting super flirrrrty as they gear up to seal the deal.
While this is definitely an interesting conclusion, we have to say that we're not 100% convinced that this can be seen as telling the whole story about your relationship status on Facebook. After all, if you've got a bunch of loved up mates on there, we bet they're the ones jamming up your news feed with their smushy holiday pics and mundane posts about just how in love they are.
No? Just us then.
- Linds Foley
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